FUNGI GIRLS

28 Apr

FUNGI GIRLS

“Let’s Talk About (Fungi) Girls”

Leave it to Austin Psych Fest to introduce us to a world where girls – Fungi Girls, at least – are boys and age doesn’t mean a thing (at least as long as you have Internet access and some hip aunts and uncles).

Such is the world of the Fungi Girls, three Texas youth whose forward progress is approaching light speed, even while they keep their collective third eye peeled and focused on the past. As a result, many more eyes have been pointed in their direction – ours included. Perhaps more important, those eyes are all part of human heads with ears, a key component to taking in the band’s raw, blissed-out psychedelic sound-stew. Skin-smasher Skyler Salinas peels back the fungi layers below.

You can settle this once and for all: I’ve got five dollars that says the Fungi Girls are actually guys. Where did your name come from? How many people have come to your shows looking for girls, with or without a fungus?

It’s true, we’re not girls. I’m sure people who hadn’t heard or saw us prior to a show thought we were girls, but none have actually come up to us telling us that. We got our name from Deryck’s (who plays bass) mother jokingly calling us girls as we were growing up. It just kind of stuck.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

How long have you known the other members of the band? What are the musical differences between the three of you that you think contribute most significantly to your sound?

I’ve known Deryck since practically birth. Our families go far back, with our grandparents being best friends while living in south and west Texas, then eventually moving to our current location in north Texas, Cleburne. Deryck and I both met Jacob (who sings and plays guitar) in middle school.

As far as musical differences, Deryck is, in my opinion, an incredible bassist and has a really unique style that I think he owes to first learning Motown and metal on bass. Jacob is all things poppy in our band. He’s the melody. I am the psych head/”let’s put a shitload of delay and reverb on your guitar” guy/drummer here.

Speaking of your sound, do you think you formed the band with a certain sound in mind, or did it develop only after you started playing together? What has surprised you most about the Fungi Girls’ sound thus far? How do you see your sound evolving as you most forward as a band?

Initially we had a more shoegaze sound in mind, a la Jesus and Mary Chain, but just after the album we started to grow into something very different. The garage and psychedelic influence set in and it shifted quite a bit, but still not enough to sound like an entirely different band. As of semi-recently, we’ve been getting into more Krautrock and heavy psych sounds. Things will be changing up even more.

What are your earliest musical memories? Has then been one person (an older brother, a parent, etc.) in particular that you can credit with fueling your interest in music?

I personally always go back to my grandfather and I driving the Nevada and California deserts and mountains while listening to old country like Merle Haggard and rockabilly like Jerry Lee Lewis. Jacob has told me before that he remembers when he was little his father listened to things like Nirvana, Kiss, and somehow, The Velvet Underground. Deryck was a grunge kid.

Our introduction to independent music came from my aunt and uncle. They got me into bands like Adorable and the Boo Radleys as well as 60’s psych. I started showing my friends, especially Deryck and Jacob, stuff like that in middle school and we all kind of had a mutual love for it and a lot of other stuff.

What music have you been listening to lately? If you had to choose, what is your favorite Beach Boys song of all time?

Jacob has been really into Spectrals across the pond in Leeds. I’ve been listening to a lot of Krautrock and Flying Burrito Brothers, as usual. Deryck has been listening to The Mantles quite a bit. Beach Boys songs – anything off of “Smiley Smile,” “All I Wanna Do” off of Sunflower, and “You’re So Good to Me”.

Would you like to comment on the rumor (the rumor that I am attempting to start right now) that the Fungi Girls will soon start a supergroup with the Dum Dum Girls and the Strange Boys, called The Dum Dum Strange Fungi Girls & Boys?

We wish! Maybe they’ll read this and want to do it?

Your album from last year, “Seafaring Pyramids,” explored a galaxy of sounds, not the least of which being “Into the Cosmos.” What can you tell us about the origin of this song? What are you thoughts about this album now that more than a year has passed since your recorded those songs?

“Into the Cosmos” was about eating mushrooms. We still like the songs alright, but we never play any of them live outside of “Pacifica Nostalgia” and I think we have kind of a shared opinion that they’re boring and don’t sound as “mature” as our newer stuff.

How do you think “Seafaring Pyramids” differs from your upcoming album for Horzac Records? Do you feel that your live performances have improved or changed in any meaningful way since you first started as a band? What bands are you most inspired by, from a live performance perspective?

There’s a difference in style and maturity, for sure. Most people tell us we have improved live and we personally like to think we have as well. Live we are most inspired by Thee Oh Sees. They are intense but incredibly fun, something we strive for.

How did you first hear about Austin Psych Fest? What bands are you most excited to share the stage with?

We first heard about it last year via the internet and were wanting to go, but were unable to. There’s a lot of bands on Friday we want to see but will unfortunately have to skip out. As for Saturday and Sunday, we are most excited to see/share the stage with Roky Erickson, Cold Sun, The Fresh & Onlys, Cloudland Canyon, Bass Drum of Death, Dirty Beaches, Beaches, Indian Jewelry, Spectrum, Vacant Lots, and Black Moth Super Rainbow.

What’s next for the Fungi Girls?

There’s a new album on HoZac coming sometime early summer, east coast and west coast tours throughout July and August, and a 7″ coming out on a friend’s label out of San Francisco. Get psyched.

Fungi Girls

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